I should be writing about the knee deep powder I skied this morning. It was nice, especially in May, and more especially because this spring has been cold and wet such that a chance to do anything outside in good conditions is something to relish. I should also note that it was day 59 this ski season. That's an amazing season no matter how you slice it.
But instead of writing (or writing more) about that, I'm going to write about what happened between 4:50 and 5:10 a.m. as I got ready to go skiing.
The rat, or rather mouse (or possibly vole--I'm no good at small rodent taxonomy), never set more than a couple steps into my kitchen. I discovered it when I opened the dryer and it scurried out from underneath and into the bathroom, where it disappeared.
"Great," I thought, there's a mousehole in my bathroom and this thing can come and go at will. Thing is, I couldn't find any kind of a gap in the wall or baseboards that it could have conceivably fit through, even though it only needed a 5mm gap.
I sat down and ate breakfast, figuring I'd deal with it later. Being a curious type, it came out of the bathroom and a few steps into the kitchen while I was eating. Then it ran into the bathroom and disappeared again.
At this point I was freaking out, because I am a full-on ninny when it comes to rodents in my house (yet somehow squirrels in my campsite are cute? go figure...). So I called Rachel, who was asleep, because I needed moral support. She came down and I told her about the problem. She insisted I go in and check the bathroom again.
No sign of it. Wasn't behind the wastebasket or under the stool or behind the toilet brush. But the plunger. We have one of those plungers with corrugated sides that's pretty deep. It could be in there. Which meant I was obligated to do something about it.
The plunger was leaning against the wall at an angle, so I pushed it so the business end was flat on the floor. Then I dragged it across the floor and onto a piece of paper. I lifted plunger and paper into a bucket and shook the plunger. Something was clearly in there. Which presented a new problem--what to do with the live rodent?
Any PETA members should stop reading now, because there was no way I was risking that little sucker coming into my house again. So I did what any red-blooded American who happily eats meat but wants as far away from the killing process as possible would do: I overturned the bucket and shook the plunger over the toilet and watched as the rodent plopped into the water and immediately started to tread.
And then I flushed.
And then I watched anxiously wondering if it would go down.
Thankfully it went down.
Rachel said she flushed about nine more times after I left just to be sure.